Kristin L. Matthews

Professor, English

4160 JFSB


Curriculum Vitae

Research Areas: , , ,

Teaching Experience

I teach courses in 20th & 21st century American literature and culture, specifically post-WWII, African American, and women’s literature. My job is to help students become more ethical readers, writers, and humans through the power of story. I received the American Studies Professor of the Year Award (2016 & 2007), English Department Teaching Award (2008), Faculty Women’s Association Teaching Award (2012),an Alcuin Fellowship (2012), and the College Excellence in Teaching Award (2019).


My research examines the intersection of reading and citizenship in American letters. My methodology is a combination of American Studies, book history and print culture studies, and reception studies. For these efforts I’ve received a Utah Humanities Colton Fellowship (2010), the Stone-Suderman Prize for best article from American Studies (2013), the Ray & Ida Lee Beckham Lectureship (2015), and two Women’s Research Initiative Grants from Global Women’s Studies (2017 and 2021).

Selected Publications

  • Reading America: Citizenship, Democracy, and Cold War Literature. UMass Press (2016)
  • Making Reading Popular: Cold War Literacy and Classics Illustrated. Book History (2019)
  • ’Woke’ and Reading: Social Media, Reception, and Contemporary Black Feminism. Participations (2019)
  • Reading America Reading in Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49. Arizona Quarterly(2012)
  • Neither Inside Nor Outside: Mari Evans, the Black Aesthetic, and the Canon. CEA: Critic (2011)
  • One Nation Over Coals: Cold War Nationalism and the Barbecue. American Studies(2011).
  • The Medium, The Message, The Movement: Print Culture and New Left Politics. In Pressing the Fight: Print, Propaganda, and the Cold War. Eds. Greg Barnhisel and Catherine Turner. UMass Press (2010)
  • The Politics of ‘Home’ in Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun.” Modern Drama (2008)
  • Reading, Guidance, and Cold War Consensus in Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope. The Journal of Popular Culture 44.3 (2010)
  • A Mad Proposition in Postwar America.(June 2007)


I am committed to creating a university culture that promotes rigorous learning and respect for all. This has informed my work in the English Department, College of Humanities, University, English profession, and public humanities.

Citizenship assignments

  • English Department Rank & Status Committee (Fall 2016-2018; Fall 2020–present)
  • College Diversity Task Force (August 2019-present)
  • English Department Diversity & Belonging Committee (Fall 2020-present)
  • English Society Advisor (Fall 2018-2020)
  • American Studies Program Coordinator (2011–2016)
  • English Department Graduate Committee (May 2008-2011)
  • English Department Hiring Committee (Fall 2004-2008)